Folded Cube Table

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Blog entry by Rick M posted 04-29-2016 08:47 PM 898 reads 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m calling it a folded cube because it’s supposed to look folded, and it’s a cube. I’m open to better names :)

Made this table/stool with my daughter. No finish yet as it was due this morning and we didn’t start until late afternoon yesterday. It was one her design school projects. The design and design process are what’s important. I think it turned out very well considering all the miters. The top has 4 sides mitered. Four of the leg pieces have 3 sides mitered, and the other 4 leg pieces have 2 sides mitered.

To make it we cut squares, then bisected the squares to make 45/45/90 triangles for the legs. I hot glued plywood scraps to the sled for registering the squares. To prevent splintering, we set the blade about 1/8” above the sled and ran them backwards over it. After scoring all the pieces, we raised the blade and cut through.

Miters were cut with a technique where you bury the blade into a sacrificial fence and cut the miters. That way you can cut your pieces to finished size before mitering. Smart thing is to run each piece through twice, first using the miter gauge to remove some waste then against the fence to cut the final miter. It’s easier on the saw and your offcuts won’t get trapped under the blade. The Wixey was the hero, setting up miter cuts is a breeze with that thing.

What luck. Two nasty storms, with hail, came through a few hours apart and both knocked out the power. At one point we busted out my Goodell miter saw from the early 1900’s and using a battery powered light, kept working. Here she is making a test cut to make sure we are at exactly 45°, the old miter box was dead nuts.

Here are pictures of the glue up, which was tricky because everything is mitered and wanted to slip around. We considered biscuits or splines but with all the glue surfaces they weren’t necessary for strength and we were working against a deadline.


15 comments so far

View duckmilk's profile


1770 posts in 832 days

#1 posted 04-29-2016 09:10 PM

Great idea Rick. Cool to have your daughter working with you.

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

View Mark Wilson's profile (online now)

Mark Wilson

1837 posts in 571 days

#2 posted 04-29-2016 09:25 PM

It looks fantastic. It’s wooden origami. And, your story sounds like an excellent argument for maintaining a firm familiarity with the old-school ways.
I do hope you and yours didn’t suffer much damage from the hail. I was a Southeast Colorado farm boy, when I was a teenager. I’m very familiar with the catastrophic destruction that can take place. I get chills thinking about the terror, even now, forty years later.

-- Mark

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1497 posts in 1696 days

#3 posted 04-29-2016 10:15 PM

Very unique and simple. I like it.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Richard's profile


1912 posts in 2198 days

#4 posted 04-29-2016 10:34 PM

Very Cool to be working with your Daughter on a design that she came up with. And it looks like she is not afraid to use the Big Tools and has been taught the proper hand placement for doing it as well. And using the Old tools as well is good so she knows you don’t always have to have the newest tools to do really good work.

View JoeinGa's profile


7565 posts in 1515 days

#5 posted 04-29-2016 10:49 PM

Now THIS is the line that caught my eye…
”No finish yet as it was due this morning and we didn’t start until late afternoon yesterday. ”
Reminds me of the days when our girls were younger …. ( it’s 10pm Thursday night, and we hear from the back bedroom )
”Hey Mom. I forgot to tell you. I’m supposed to bring 2 dozen brownies to school tomorrow.”

Way to go Dad… nice “save the day” moment with your daughter !

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View doubleDD's profile


5450 posts in 1551 days

#6 posted 04-29-2016 11:26 PM

First of all I’m jealous since my kids never had any interest to work with dad on any project. It was more like can you make this for me? Thanks dad. Great family enjoyment.
I think you have a good name there with the folding tri-cube.
Great looking table.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

8150 posts in 1888 days

#7 posted 04-29-2016 11:45 PM

Thanks. It was ten hours start to finish including two power outages, so maybe eight hours.


View kiefer's profile


4881 posts in 2175 days

#8 posted 04-30-2016 03:22 AM

Nice father and daughter project and looks like it turned out to near perfection .
At first I thought where does it fold where are the hinges but now I get it folded cube .


-- Kiefer

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

8150 posts in 1888 days

#9 posted 04-30-2016 04:14 AM

Mark Wilson nailed it with the origami reference, she’s been playing around with that stuff in the last few weeks.


View Roger's profile


20110 posts in 2312 days

#10 posted 04-30-2016 11:56 AM

Looks like good quality time and a gr8 project

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View johnhutchinson's profile


1211 posts in 1137 days

#11 posted 04-30-2016 04:38 PM

FABULOUS !!! in a lot of ways.

Reminds me of an Isamu Noguchi table, only better.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View oldnovice's profile


5798 posts in 2876 days

#12 posted 04-30-2016 04:55 PM

Nice work, both for you and your daughter!
How are you going to finish it?

Are you going to try the same with chairs?

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Dutchy's profile


2077 posts in 1676 days

#13 posted 05-01-2016 10:15 AM


-- My englisch is bad but how is your dutch?

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

8150 posts in 1888 days

#14 posted 05-01-2016 04:48 PM

Thanks everyone for the complements, I will pass them along.

Nice work, both for you and your daughter!
How are you going to finish it?

Are you going to try the same with chairs?

- oldnovice

She is debating a clear finish vs dye.

A chair would be interesting. If it were mine I would leave the leg points a little longer next time and definitely use thinner wood. She wants to do a solid wood version but that presents expansion problems. Might work if the top is a panel and we change the orientation of the legs so the grain run horizontal.


View johnhutchinson's profile


1211 posts in 1137 days

#15 posted 05-01-2016 06:09 PM

Frank Lloyd Wright designed an origami chair—pic below—and there are many other designs for origami chairs if you do a Web search.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

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